The event brought together a variety of stakeholders and professionals to discuss the role of ethical behaviour in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) on society and the environment.

Published (Updated )

The School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering (SMCSE) hosted its first National Symposium on Developing Socially Responsible STEM Professionals on January 14th 2020.

The event brought together a broad variety of academics, government leaders and industry professionals to discuss the role of ethical behaviour in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) on society and the environment, given the critical importance of training the next generation of STEM professionals to be more socially responsible.

Corporate social responsibility

Held in B200 (Tait Building) over the course of a day, the event enabled participants and speakers to engage with and debate issues around corporate social responsibility, global sustainable programmes (including UN sustainable development goals), cultural differences and practices, legislation and regulation, business and research ethics, the circular economy, leadership and social value, privacy, identity and data protection.

Speakers included Mr Theo Blackwell MBE, Chief Digital Officer, Mayor of London Office; SMCSE’s Dr Alex Taylor, Reader in Human Computer Interaction; Mr Jim Fairbairn; CEO, Megger; Dr Colin Brown, CEO, Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE); Dr Shabana Haque, Head of Engineering Policy, Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng); Ms Nancy Nai-Huei Lu, Independent Sustainability Strategist; Mr Paul Jagger (IBM); Mr Chris White, Director of the Institute for Industrial Strategy, King’s College, London; Mr Braulio Eduardo Morera, Director, 100 Resilient Cities (Rockefeller Foundation); and SMCSE alumnus, Professor Kieran Arasaratnam, Associate Director (Societal Engagement), Imperial College Business School.

Alongside the informative presentations, there were two panel debates chaired by Mr Will Stirling, managing director of Stirling Media.

SMCSE Dean, Professor Rajkumar Roy, said:

Challenges in developing socially responsible STEM professionals were debated at City with industry, Government, academia and NGOs on the 14th of January. We shall publish a full report of the discussions and outcome of what will become an annual event. The keynote speakers and the two debate sessions were very effective in highlighting contradictory views on the issue. It is recognised that our future leaders, i.e. our students, are more aware of the importance of social needs in the face of developing technologies and systems. They expect universities to take more interest in the topic of social responsibility. Academics can in fact benefit from advanced CPD courses to train them on the latest thinking in this area.

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